Words & Pictures: Owain Jones
Crack Magazine Presents: Trophy Wife @ Start the Bus, Bristol, 13/06/13
On a dreary June evening, Trophy Wife visit Start the Bus to say their final farewell to Bristol and there’s plenty of people in attendance to say their goodbyes. Motherhood and New Carnival get things warmed up. The one man band, Motherhood, does the job perfectly as he swoons through a set of R&B influenced electro-pop. New Carnival take proceedings down more of an indie route with hooky guitar riffs and dancey bass and drum grooves. Both acts leave the room with their dancing shoes securely fastened for the remainder of the evening.
By the time Trophy Wife take to the stage the crowd are raring to go as they build in to the long intro of ‘Liquid Cocaine’. The addition of each instrument gradually and the repetitive groove allows everyone to prepare themselves for what is to follow as they begin to dance. The whole song revolves around one singular groove while the haunting synth and vocal lines wave in and out of the track. ‘Glue’ adds a bit of variation with the drums keeping a consistent beat while the synth swells over the top. ‘What you Gave Away’ and ‘Like No Other’ gradually step things up with ‘Like No Other’ providing the poppiest moment of the evening. ‘Surfacing’ strips things back completely and allows for a momentary break. The laid back groove of ‘Heavy Touch’ eases us gently back in to the swing of things and ends with the customary shout out to Big Jeff who is in his usual place, right at the front of the stage.
B-side ‘Take This Night’ delivers us a slice of disco with an irresistibly catchy bass line pulsating throughout. We’re then treated to an instrumental jam which sets the tone for the rest of the set which drifts towards the end in a similar fashion. It also gives the opportunity for the band to invade the crowd which culminates with the drummer, Kit, falling off a table and successfully using Jeff to save his fall. They end the set with 2010 single ‘Microlite’ which rounds things off perfectly. The layered lead lines intertwine beautifully as they embed themselves memorably inside your brain. They bring the song right down to silence before bursting back in to the main hook to finish on a high.
Each member’s consistent dancing was infectious throughout the crowd and kept things on a high throughout the night, the drums and bass providing a constant groove while guitars and synths float dreamily over the top. It was brilliant to see a band enjoying themselves so much on stage, clearly relishing every moment of their final fling as they smile to each other through each section change. Start the Bus is left thankful that Trophy Wife took the time to stop by before bowing out superbly, albeit too soon. Trophy Wife is no more.